WWW Wednesday – 27 March 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I finished Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. I’m not quite sure I “got” this. There is a magical realism component which I figured out fairly early on was an allegory, but there was a lot of telling, even with that… and the main character felt about twelve rather than fifteen…

I also finished Hive by A. J. Betts. This was one of those books that I wasn’t terribly into, but the ending was interesting enough that I still felt that I would continue with the series when the second book comes out.

I posted two reviews this week: Between Us by Clare Atkins and Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein. Click the titles to read them.

What are you currently reading?

I have returned to The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, after being a bit distracted by other things. The MC is about to meet the King, so I think things are going to really start rolling now.

I’m listening to A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. I really enjoy parallel universe stories though this one has a lot of flashbacks establishing life before Meg and Theo jumped dimensions. Still, I’m about a third of the way through and still enjoying it.

What do you think you will read next?

Everything I’ve been reading lately has been YA and it’s beginning to wear a bit. So I think I might read my ARC of Wolfhunter River by Rachel Caine.  I have pretty high expectations of this after loving the first two books in the series so much. So I hope it lives up to them.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

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WWW Wednesday – 20 March 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

What have you recently finished reading?

I read An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson, which I found to be an enjoyable fantasy but forgettable. I reviewed it here.

Next I finished Bird Box by Josh Malerman. I didn’t love this. There’s a difference between being ambiguous and just creating a whole bunch of stuff that’s never explained. I found it a bit too unsatisfying. Here’s my review.

Next I read One Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston. I think I was lucky I was in the right mood for it or it might have easily been a DNF. Really beautiful writing and a good plot but I’m not sure I actually picked up on important aspects of the world-building, so some of the things that were happening made no sense to me.

I finally started on my challenge of reading the books on the 2019 CBCA Notables List and read Between Us by Clare Atkins, which is a story about the relationship that forms between an Iranian asylum seeker in detention and an Australian teenager at her school.  It was not an easy read but very powerful. Here’s my review.

Last but not least, I finished Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein, a YA psychological thriller. This had some genuinely creepy moments but ultimately was a bit too long and the ending fell a bit flat.

This list is nowhere near as impressive when you realise I haven’t done a WWW post in 2 weeks and I finished  the first two books listed the day after my last one.

What are you currently reading?

I have returned to The Dying Flame by R. L. Sanderson, after being a bit distracted by other things. The MC has just been rescued and whisked off to a strange place so I have a feeling things are about to really get going.

I’m also listening to Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. I’m… really not loving the audio book narrator, but it’s really short and I’ve got less than 3 hours  to go, so I’m going to stick with it…

What do you think you will read next?

Depending how I feel about The Dying Flame, I might go on to its sequel, The Sharpened Blade. Or I’ve got Hive by A. J. Betts waiting for me at the library so I can continue with my challenge to read the 2019 Notables list for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Award.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

#LoveOzYA #aww2019 “And there’s a good chance the only *one day* I’ll get is here and now.” // Review of “Between Us” by Clare Atkins

Title: Between Us
Author:
Clare Atkins
Genre: Contemporary
Target audience: YA
Date Read: 14/03/19 – 15/03/19
Rating:
★★★★

Review:

Oof. What a book to start off my challenge of reading the YA and MG books on the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s 2019 Notables List.

This is the story of Iranian asylum seeker, Ana, who is only let out of detention to attend school. There she meets and becomes close to Jono, the son of one of the officers at her detention centre. Meanwhile Jono’s father, Kenny, becomes increasinly paranoid about the relationship between his son and the detainee.

This book has real power, though I wonder if some people will dismiss it as being over the top. I certainly had to keep reminding myself that our country wouldn’t be in the situatioin it currently is in regards to refugees if there weren’t people who thought the same way as the characters in this book. It says something about the present situation when the author can’t even name some of the people she spoke to when researching the novel.

These characters disgusted me, but I know they are not far from the truth. I think it might be easy for those less willing to engage to write them off as unrealistic, but I hope that isn’t the case.

The scenes from Ana’s perspective are heartbreaking. Watching her have to take responsibility for her family as her mother sinks further into depression while also trying to cling to some semblance of a regular teenage life through friendships and music and the occasional excursion. 

I didn’t warm to Jono quite as much. This is not really the fault of the character, as he is well written. It is more that he is not the type of character I can easily identify with – he smokes and drinks and lies to his dad about his whereabouts. Look, I admit it, I was a goody two-shoes growing up, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. I did enjoy the scenes where Jono opened up a bit more to his dad, and their bond started to return.

Kenny was the character I struggled with the most, for the reasons I stated above about not quite believing there are people like this. I wanted to shake some sense into him.

Despite these niggles, I still gave it five stars for the way it made me feel,  for the fact that I had a dream about these characters, and the fact that I was still thinking about it days later.


This review is part of my 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

I am trying to read as many of the books as possible on the 2019 Children’s Book Council of Australia Notables List. Click here to see the titles.

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